What Do You Think You Have?

If you don’t know what you really have, you won’t enjoy it, appreciate it, or engage it.  In other words, the less we believe or understand the quality of what we possess, the less we will pay any attention to it. Let me illustrate what I mean.  You know you’ve reached middle age when your parents start handing you boxes of stuff that they’ve saved for you over the years. You know how they save locks of hair, artwork, school projects, old clothes, and our favorite toys?  At one time they thought these things were so precious they were worthy of being stored away for the future. Their thinking changes about the time we grow up and reach middle age.  This is when our parents come to their senses and realize these things are not precious at all, but ridiculous junk they need to get out of their home.  Since our parents can’t say, “I’ve come to my senses and I realize your childhood stuff is really just a bunch of junk that I don’t want anymore” – they simply hand us gift-boxes full of junk and say, “I’ve been keeping this for you!” My wife and I have experienced this in recent years.  One of the gift-boxes Aleta was given by her mother was especially pitiful.   It was a box containing all of those meaningless childhood trinkets every parent “keeps” for their children, all those things we once viewed as treasures, but now look at as adults and wonder, “What was I thinking?” In this box was a baseball signed by the entire Rochester Red Wings 1984 triple-A baseball team.  As Aleta sorted through the junk she looked more closely at this baseball, “Maybe it has an important autograph on it” she said.  Then she handed it to me and asked, “What do you think?” I glanced at it merely to humor her, but because I knew it was another piece of junk in a box loaded with junk I said, “There’s nothing special here.” Then I pleaded with her to throw the entire box away.I was more than ready to dismiss that trinket box because I didn’t know – really know – what we had been given.  To know what we have been given always takes a little closer look. The truth is, I didn’t bother to take a closer look, but Aleta did take a closer look. After examining the autographs on the ball more closely she discovered that her humble little baseball had the autograph of a baseball Hall of Famer.  Our baseball had the autograph of the Iron Man of baseball – Cal Ripken Jr! Once I discovered what I really had, I researched it, enjoyed it, talked about it, and treasured it because it was worth a couple hundred bucks.  This same transformation of understanding and practice of living is what each of us need in our relationship with God.God has offered to all humanity this gift-box of a life-altering relationship with Him. What do you really think you’ve been given by God? Don’t you dare say what you’ve been trained to say, or what you think you’re supposed to say. If you got down to the core of what you really feel - what do you really think you’ve been given by God? Do you think God has given you something special? Do you think, “There’s nothing special here, just another way to cope with my human experience – just another tool I use to get by if I really need it?”  Do you think, “Honestly?  I really don’t know!”